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Report calls for delaying second doses of vaccine, warns of surge fueled by coronavirus variant

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.7%. 3 min read.

A new report out Tuesday warns that a more transmissible variant of coronavirus threatens to start a renewed surge of infections in March, and suggests the US speed up vaccination by skipping second doses for now.

A new report out Tuesday warns that a more transmissible variant of coronavirus threatens to start a renewed surge of infections in March, and suggests the US speed up vaccination by skipping second doses for now.

They call on the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to quickly assemble advisers to help change vaccination guidelines to get more vulnerable people vaccinated more quickly, before the B. 1. 1. 7 variant of the virus, first seen in the UK, causes more spread.

So far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 44. 5 million people have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine and just under 20 million have gotten both doses.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are meant to be given as two doses, three or four weeks apart, but the report recommends delaying that second dose to get more people at least partial protection.

“In this study, we observed increased severity of disease associated with B. 1. 427/B. 1. 429 infection, including increased risk of high oxygen requirement,” they wrote in their report, which is to post to a preprint server later this week after public health officials in San Francisco review it.

President Biden's coronavirus advisers told governors today that they believe an estimated two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available next week pending emergency use authorization, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

President Biden indicated the White House will move to send masks directly to the American people as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, something that was originally proposed by health officials during the Trump administration but blocked by the former President.

The US Postal Service had planned to distribute 650 million face coverings for the Trump administration last April, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN in September.

More than 65 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 44. 5 million people have now received at least one dose of vaccine and about 19. 9 million people have been fully vaccinated with both shots, CDC data shows.

He said the government plans to give nearly half of people over 18 their first vaccine dose by the end of April, and 82% of adults their first dose by the end of June.

It’s possible a single dose of coronavirus vaccine might be enough for people who have already been infected, but it will take more research to show that, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, wrote in a blog post Tuesday

Collins referenced a recent preprint on a small NIH-funded study, which looked at 109 people who had already received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and found that for 41 people who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies before their first shot, immune response to the first dose was “equal to, or in some cases better” than the response to the second dose in people without previous infection.

“One of our biggest risks right now are new variants that start to undermine the vaccine efficacy, that would be a terrible development so that's why we have to be really careful to guard against importation of new variants, hence the need for travel restrictions. ” Sturgeon said.

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